were afraid to trespass, as for instance, one of the slogansódie ec joyful
discovery " (repeated in all seriousness by The Times] that, tc experiences
in the Western Ukraine . . . have given ground (to the Russians) for the
hope that many patriots in occupied Poland are capable of local admini-
stration." It meant that the central administration would be preserved
for the Herrenvolk, i.e., for the Great Russians. Certain topics were
difficult even for Moscow propaganda to approach as was shown by their
statement that " private enterprise for small or medium-sized industry "
was to be anticipated but " the question of State or private ownership of
large industrial undertakings/3 it was pointed out, "was not an im-
mediate one." It became " immediate/' however, as soon as the Russians
occupied Poland and confiscated these undertakings.
In addition to extending numerous promises of a happy future for
Poland under the guidance of the Soviet Union, Moscow propaganda,
at the same time, began to emphasise its supposed achievements with regard
to the care lavished on the Polish children who had been forcibly taken
to Russia. Many of these children had fathers fighting among the ranks
of the United Nations.
In June, 1943, the Russian Press announced the C£ creation of a special
committee for the education of Polish children." At the beginning of
1944, ^7 stated that " 16,000 Polish children were being taught in
nearly 200 Polish schools and kindergartens. There were also some 50
children's homes and orphanages where between 4,000 and 5,000 children
were being cared for." In the early days of 1943^ t^ie PoHsh Embassy
had under its care 80,000 children and 545 children's homes, schools and
feeding centres. When the Russian authorities closed all these welfare
establishments and took over the schools and orphanages, they arrested
the Polish Staff and replaced them by Soviet teachers. Although the
Polish Government had had 80,000 children under its care, the Soviets
mentioned only 20,000 or 21,000 in their announcement. What had
become of that 60,000 ? The Poles realised only too well that their
children, now being educated under Soviet c care/ would no longer be
brought up as Poles and, as far as Poland was concerned, they were lost.
" I do not say that Polish children have an easy life here (in Russia)/'
remarked Moscow Free Poland. " But they are neither better nor worse
of! than all the others. They are leading a severe and hard life, thinking
constantly of the front line. The White Ruthenian, Ukrainian and Russian
children who have escaped from the territories occupied by the Germans
have not found luxuries and comfort behind the Ural. But nowhere could
there be found such an attitude to children as in the U.S.S.R."
The gist of the matter was that the Polish children did not escape
before the Germans during the war, but had been kidnapped by the
Russians after the invasion of Poland. Furthermore, as it has been
related, the Soviets rejected the proposals of the Polish Government to
be allowed to evacuate them to the British sphere of influence.